Primus at the Criterion in Oklahoma City, OK

Primus kicks off the second leg of their tour in Oklahoma City, delivering a stellar performance paying tribute to rock ’n’ roll legends Rush.

Battles sets the mood for the evening with an electronic experience. Battles is an American rock duo founded in 2002, consisting of Ian Williams on synth and guitar, and John Stanier (formerly from Helmet) on drums. Battles’ set is fun and gets the crowd dancing.

Their music is extremely unique and sounds as if it could be the soundtrack to a Sci-Fi film. Their experimental sampling combined with smooth transitions into catchy, yet complex, grooves perplexed and wowed the crowd. Ian Williams’s ability to play guitar and synth simultaneously was an impressive feat to behold. Between songs, Ian Williams joked with the crowd and kept the mood light. Battles’ set was 45 minutes long and well-received by Primus fans. After the set, John Stanier could be found at the merch table chatting with fans. Battles are only opening for select dates of the Primus A Tribute to Kings tour.

As the stage is being set up for the main event, fans eagerly move in closer and begin to chant “Primus Sucks, Primus Sucks.” The lights dim and fans let out roaring applause as Primus walks out. They open the set with “Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers,” “Too Many Puppies,” segueing into a moment of “Sgt. Baker,” and then back into “Too Many Puppies.” Les Claypool’s iconic voice had the audience ecstatic and singing along to the chorus of “Too Many Puppies.”

After the first three songs, Claypool took a moment to address the fans and talk about how long this tour had been in the works. The band had to push the tour back many times but mentioned that they were excited to kick off their 2022 Rush tribute tour in Oklahoma City. Claypool revealed that his son is currently working on creating a Primus documentary and that they had over 760 videos throughout the years. During Primus’ performance, they debuted “Conspiranoia,” a single released earlier this year teasing their new Conspiranoid EP that will be released on April 22nd, 2022. This was the first time the song had been performed in front of a live audience. Towards the end of their first set, Primus performed “Seas of Cheese” and “Mr. Krinkle.” During these songs, Les Claypool played his electric upright bass, wowing the audience with his heavy bass lines. Primus rounded off their first set with one of their most well-known songs, “Jerry was a Race Car Driver.”

After a short intermission, Primus returns to perform their Rush set of the show, playing A Farewell to Kings in its entirety. They start this six-song set off with “A Farewell to Kings” and “Xanadu.” During “Xanadu,” Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde are each strapped with a double-neck guitar and the audience goes wild at this epic sight. Primus ends the Rush set with “Cygnus X-1.”

In August 2021, Les Claypool posted a photo playing bass with Geddy Lee with the caption “Learning from the master.” All that hard work paid off as Primus did an extraordinary job paying homage to progressive rock legend, Rush. After Primus’s Rush set, they returned to the stage yet again for a three-song encore, giving fans even more bang for their buck.

A Tribute to Kings Tour will be continuing through the US and Canada until late June, and then onto UK and Europe at the end of the year. This is truly a tour any Primus or Rush fan will not want to miss. Another upcoming Primus event to keep an eye out for is a one-night-only event, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of South Park with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Ween at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado on August 10th, 2022.

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About Tyler Williams 14 Articles
Tyler Williams is a tattoo artist and concert photographer in the Oklahoma City area. Tyler has been attending rock and metal concerts since a young age. He got into concert photography through shooting his fiancée’s cover band at their live shows. He also enjoys birding and wildlife photography.